Yahoo for Snapchat?; Why SodaStream Fizzled; The Container Store Coming Up Short

Make it snappy…

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There’s an expensive little rumor going around that Yahoo is about to plunk down a hefty $20 million to become a part of the magic we call Snapchat. However, the app that has around 100 million users, and doesn’t generate much in the way of revenue, has got some wondering what exactly Snapchat sees in Yahoo. After all, Snapchat already dissed offers from both Google and Facebook. Snapchat, whose valuation is currently pegged at a not-so-modest $10-$20 billion, depending on whom you ask, is getting ready to prance around its latest offering, Snapchat Discovery. In case you hadn’t heard, that service is for professionally produced content, and like regular Snapchat, the content would still disappear after a certain period of time. Good thing Yahoo has been scooping up scads of professional producers to come up with new content. And let’s face it, Yahoo does have a certain knack for distributing all kinds of entertaining and useful content, apps and of course, the all-important ads, which is something from which Snapchat could surely benefit. As for Yahoo, well it needs something to do with all that money it made off of Alibaba Group.

Fizzled out…

Image courtesy of Suat Eman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Suat Eman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Just because you’ve got Scarlett Johansson shilling for you, doesn’t mean your earnings are going to be just as star-studded. Case in point: SodaStream, the Israel-based company that went public in 2010, and which just saw its shares plunk down to a new low. Shares of the soda machine-maker fell below $23.00 for the first time. Ever. The company’s own predictions forecasted a 13% hit in its revenue, falling to a paltry $125 million. Certainly, the fact that Coca Cola, together with Green Mountain Coffee, are parading out its own version of a soda-making machine aren’t helping matters. So like every other company with food and beverage offerings that has taken a fiscal punch, SodaStream has made the decision to shift its focus to “health and wellness.”

Contain yourself!

Image courtesy of graur razvan donut/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of graur razvan donut/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

With a name like “The Container Store” you can’t go wrong. Or can you? Shares of the company took a big a harsh 11% hit after reporting its second quarter earnings. It seems  the company failed to sell enough “containers” and such. Even though it earned over $193 million in revenue, it was several million short of Wall Street predictions. However, all was not lost as the company still managed to pull in an $0.11 per share profit.

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Facebook Would Like to Like China, Coca Cola Getting Buzzed Over Keurig and Extra Credit Mortgages

Facebook headed in new directions?

Image courtesy of Master isolated images/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Master isolated images/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Facebook is headed east. At least it wants to head east. Far east. The social media giant is looking to set up shop in Beijing but there is one slight hitch – Facebook is currently censored in China and has been for the past several years (as are Google and Twitter). Minor details, I suppose. Interestingly enough, though, Facebook still managed to make more than a few bucks in China by selling ads. The country currently has the largest amount of web users, coming in at a mind-numbing 600 million, yet it remains one of the last big markets that doesn’t enjoy all those FB perks. And while Facebook would be all too eager to tap in to that population, it did diplomatically say there are “substantial legal and regulatory complexities.” But tons of companies in China also want Facebook for the opportunities it provides to reach international users. Despite China’s Facebook ban, the company still managed to make $354 million in Asia which translated to roughly 19% of its first quarter revenue.

The buzz at Coca Cola…

Image courtesy of Paul/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Paul/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As more and more people are looking to kick sodas from their diets, Coca Cola (KO) figured now is the time to up its stake in Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) from 10% to 16%. Because the soda company recognized “substantial growth potential” it went ahead and scooped up close to 26 million shares. Now the beverage company best known for its tasty assortment of soft drinks has now became the largest shareholder in a company best known for its coffee and single cup brewing system. Coca Cola has used this play in the past when it ultimately bought out entire companies, including Zico Coconut Water and Honest Tea. In keeping with the spirit of icy cold Coca Cola, Keurig is planning to introduce a frosty single cup drink.

To your credit…

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Government-owned Freddie Mac (FMCC) and Fannie Mae (FNMA) once upon a time received a $187 billion bailout courtesy of taxpayers. Freddie and Fannie are actually now cranking out record profits for the US treasury, having paid back all that taxpayer money (not that I saw any of it in my bank account). Now the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) overseeing the two companies (who guarantee about half of all mortgages) want potential homeowners/borrowers to get more credit. A far cry from last year when FHFA wanted to instead reduce the credit Freddie and Fannie (as those in the know call them) were offering. A move like that could drastically harm the housing finance market so the plans were scrapped. Now even if a borrower skips two payments in the first three years of the loan, Freddie and Fannie will still back those loans. There is now also a foreclosure relief project in the wings. However, the Senate Banking Committee is voting on a bill – with bi-partisan support – that would phase out Freddie and Fannie and let private lenders assume the risk instead.